On the night of Wednesday, April 15, oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma will perform online, live from the Bait Al Oud music school that he founded in Abu Dhabi 10 years ago.
The concert will be streamed on Abu Dhabi Culture’s YouTube channel from 8pm, UAE time (4pm GMT).
The Iraqi musician will be performing compositions that he has written specifically for this concert, with the works touching upon the time of crisis.
Shamma will be joined by other Bait Al Oud musicians, including Sherine Tohamy, Nejma Al Kour, Yamen Yasser Al Awar, and Ahmad Shamma.
Naseer Shamma, who is recognised as one of the finest oud players in the world, began studying the instrument in Baghdad when he was 12 years old.
One of his specialities is intertwining poetry with the music of the oud. He has musically interpreted the works of a number of poets, including Mahmoud Darwish, Muzaffar Al Nawab, and Federico Garcia Lorca.
He wrote about the historical ties between poetry and the region's music in his book Styles of Music: The Secret Key, which he launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year. "Its involvement with music really began about 1,300 years ago in the Levant were there was no real interesting music being produced," he said at the fair at the time. "So a lot of composers, in need of expressing themselves, started getting into poetry.
"The poetry, especially in Iraq, would be sung, and from there the maqam music tradition was born. That revitalised the spirits of the composers who went back to creating music, but in a new and exciting way.”
Shamma has also composed the soundtracks for a number of plays and films such as Teresa and the Crazy Songs by US director Jean-John Vito and Bent Familia by Tunisian filmmaker Al Nouri Bouzid.
And he has hosted a number of television programmes in Iraq, including a music show for children titled Do, Re, Mi, as well as Music… Music.
He certainly takes music seriously. "Music should not be viewed as simply a hobby," he told The National last year. "If you approach it right and understand its effects, it can change people's lives for the better."
For more information about tonight’s performance, visit the Abu Dhabi Culture Facebook page